Service Times and Location


Facebook Live Virtual Worship 10:00 A.M.

Holy Communion 2nd Sunday



ZOOM Adult Bible Study 7:00 P.M.




Physical Address:

2591 Ridge Road

Powhatan, VA 23139

Mailing Address:

P.O. BOX 650

Powhatan, VA 23139


Mount Zion Baptist Church History Print E-mail

The history of Mt. Zion Baptist Church is one grand and glorious epic of “What they did here,” One Hundred and Forty-four years ago.

The history of Mt. Zion Baptist Church dates back to the Civil War days. There were two churches in this area, Petersville and Mt. Carmel, where the slaves were allowed to worship on certain days. After the Emancipation Proclamation, our fore parents had a desire to establish some place to worship of their own. Hollywood Baptist Church was first to organize. Because of the distance and method of transportation in those days, many prayer meetings were held in small groups in this area to make religious services available for the people in the Smith Cross Road Area. From this great body of praying Christians, “Mt. Zion Baptist Church” was established in 1872.

The site for the church was given by Brother Pembrook Mosby. Reverend Ned Goodman was the first minister to preach in the church and Reverend Alfred Morris was the first elected pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Other pastors who served in the Old Church were: Reverend T.P. Harris, Reverend I.P. Brown, Reverend J. R. West, Reverend W. L. Morris, Reverend A. J. Ryan and Reverend W.L. Saunders.

Other founders were: Brothers Henry Brown, Issac Braxton, Sam Braxton, Stephen Brown, Frank Falcon, Hennible Lee, A.D. Hewitt and T.G. Hewitt. Also, sisters Fannie Brown, Sarah Jackson, Nancy Lee, Rebecca Pittman, Ann Mosby and Edith Howell.

Under the pastorship of Reverend Ryan, the first Young Men and Young Women Clubs were organized. Reverend Ryan, indeed, was a builder. In the business meeting on the second Saturday in November 1939, Brother J.P. Bell made a motion and it was carried that we build a new church. Plans were made to put on yearly programs to raise money to build the church. A committee was appointed to bring in plans for the new building. The committee members were: Brothers J.P. Bell, J. W. Bell, Sr., J.J. Howell, George Morris, Edward Taylor and L. T. Harris.

Under the leadership of Reverend Ryan, the church raised $1,406.44 for the Building Fund. Reverend Ryan was called to pastor a large church in Charlotte, NC, and did not stay to witness the building of the new edifice. Due to his dynamic leadership, the people were inspired to continue to work together to build the new church.

On November 11, 1944, Reverend William Lee Saunders was elected pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The committee was still in the process of selecting plans for the new church. Blueprints for the new church were secured by Reverend Saunders and Brother Willie Williams. The Blueprints were drawn and presented to the church free by Mr. Lee Davis from Baltimore, MD. Brother John Bell, Sr., was appointed as the prime contractor for the new church. The church basement was dug and the foundation erected. This phase of the building stood for three years.

On December 14, 1949, it was motioned that the church would borrow $3000.00 from the Bank of Powhatan to complete the outside of the building and sanctuary for service. The signers of the note were: Reverend W.L. Saunders, brothers John W. Bell, Sr., Alonzo Bell, Willie Williams, Luther Morris, Lee Harris, Cleveland Bradley, Ernest Johnson and Sister Pearl Howell. The majority of the work on the building was done by the men and women who donated free labor.

The Dedication Services were held on the second Sunday in March 1950. The sum of $500.00 was raised on that day. Reverend W.L. Saunders and Reverend O.C. Perkins preached the sermons. The Building Fund Treasury in 1950 contained $7,331.85. The following organizations contributed to the Building Fund of the new church: The Deacon Board, the Sunday School, the Church Choir, the Willing Workers, the Young Men and Young Women Clubs and the Usher Board. Reverend Saunders reorganized the Young Men and Young Women Clubs. The purpose of the clubs was to raise money to wire and purchase the light fixtures. During Reverend Saunders’ pastorship, 65 members joined the church and the total membership roll showed 329 active members. Reverend Saunders and his family were loved by the members of this church and he proved to be a good leader for the people.

On December 16, 1950, Reverend Saunders died at his home at the age of 39. From a lofty mountain on an island called Patmos, over 2,000 years ago, John wrote of men like Reverend Saunders. “Blessed are the dead who died in the Lord, they shall rest from their labors and their work do follow them.” Reverend Saunders’ ideas were motivated by love and his vision was for the unborn generations. He was a strong gospel preacher, a man of executive ability and a splendid pastor.

Reverend P.W. Ross succeeded Reverend Saunders and proved to be a good pastor. Reverend St. Clair Hopkins succeeded the late Reverend P.W. Ross, who also was a good preacher and advocator of Christian education.

A pulpit committee was appointed by the church in March 1974, to present a minister to the church for consideration as a pastor. The committee members are Reverend Robert McCurdy; Brothers Alonzo Bell, Paul Bell, Luther Brown, Wilson Miles, Henry Hewitt and Lawson Harris.

As we look back over the past 25 years since we first worshiped in this edifice, we praise God for some of the accomplishments made: memorial windows, pulpit and communion furniture, purchased new pews, purchased a Hammond organ, installed baptism pool in the basement, waterproofed the basement (assisted by W.L. Saunders Memorial Club), and installed central air conditioning (donated by Saunders Memorial Club). Other auxiliary accomplishments are listed with their profiles.

Mt. Zion called Reverend Carl Seabrook as its pastor in 1976. Reverend Seabrook left Mt. Zion 1981. The Church called Reverend Eric Henderson as its next pastor. He served from 1982 to 1984. The Church then called Reverend Lorenzo Fleming as its next pastor. Reverend William Fleming served as pastor from1984 through 1991.

A pulpit committee was appointed by the church in 1991 to present a minister to the church for consideration as a pastor. On the recommendation of the pulpit committee, the Church called Reverend James E. Robinson from King and Queen County, VA as its pastor in July 1992.

Pastor Robinson was a great leader and a true servant of God. Under his leadership, the Church prospered and gained in spiritual growth. Under his watchful eye, the Church was blessed to see the rise of four associate ministers. They were Reverend Revell Hicks, Reverend Lloyd Cosby, Reverend Michael Holman, and Reverend Necil Oliver.

On February 11, 1998, a motion was properly seconded and unanimously approved to secure financing to build an addition to the existing Church structure. John Milton Flippen of I.E.I. Construction was awarded the building contract. On the side of his blueprints for the new addition it reads, His motto is “For Every House is Built by Someone; But the Builder of All Things Is God”.

An amount of $125,000 from our Building Fund was approved for payment toward the cost of the construction. In July 1998, a construction loan was secured from Central Virginia Bank. On August 8, 1998, the Ground Breaking Ceremony was held. In September 1998, construction started with the excavation of the basement. One year later on August 8, 1999, the new addition was completed and dedicated to our Lord. It provided an expanded sanctuary, classrooms, offices, new bathrooms, and an enlarged downstairs fellowship hall.


For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.
Hebrews 3:4


Sadly, after a long illness, Pastor Robinson was received into the arms of God on January 8, 2006. The entire Mt. Zion Baptist Church Family will surely miss him.

From August 2005 until September 2006, the Diaconate Board of the Church worked faithfully to provide spiritual leadership and hold the church together. In September 2006, the Church made the decision to call an interim pastor to lead the Church in its spiritual worship until a permanent pastor could be called. God led us to Reverend George N. West. From September 2006 until March 2010, Reverend West faithfully served and led Mt. Zion in spirit and in truth.

On March 14, 2010, a Special Church Meeting was called to order to vote for a pastor. The church congregation called Reverend Bryan J. Stevens a native of Caroline County, Virginia as pastor. Pastor Stevens was installed as the fifteenth pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church on August 29, 2010.

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 February 2016 23:35